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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When the Comforter Needs Comforting

As AWBA expands its virtual community through the power of the Internet, we grow with supporters and kindred spirits who share their personal stories, inspirational quotes, websites, blogs, etc.  I try to pass along as much of this goodness as possible.

One of our supporters, Julia, has been part of the AWBA family since the beginning and is one such kindred spirit.   Periodically, I receive an email from her that lifts my spirit as I am reminded there are people all over the world who are impacted by what we are about.  Julia is a caregiver and she shared with me recently, 

I came across this article today written for caregivers.  It speaks of the loneliness of when caregivers find themselves in the place of needing comfort themselves, and long for the care they themselves have poured out.  It resonated deeply with my own heart and experience, and I felt seen, heard and understood as the words washed over me.  I wanted to pass it on to you as a resource.  (click this link) For the Comforter 

My deepest gratitude to Julia for sharing her story and this particular blog post, and to Tanya Marlow and her blog link posted above.  As one who offers care as friend, family member,  Stephen Minister, chaplain, health care worker, social worker, clergy, etc. do you seek out comfort when you need it?  It can be hard to ask for support when others are "struggling so much more than I am."  It can be hard to even realize how weary you may be.  Having traveled this painful journey of compassion fatigue in my own life, I understand how subtly this comes about.    I resonate with Tanya's blog image shared above.  A man or woman with the gifts of compassion and mercy often gives the outward appearance of one who is sturdy, capable, and carrying a bottomless well of support for others who are struggling.  Then, at the end of the day or in the middle of the night, tears come unsure of who is ready to listen to the deep sadness and overwhelmingness as we prepare to do it all over again the next day.

What has been your experience with this?  Like my friend Julia, do you feel seen, heard and understood in these words or in this image?  Is there a comforter in your life who might need a word of support or a kindness to acknowledge their ministry of providing care?

For those who comfort, may you receive God's blessings of love, nurture and care in the darkest of your moments of supporting and offering care to another.  AWBA hears you.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spirit of Sogetsu

Due to the interest in our free blog offering "The Spirit of Sogetsu - Making the Heart and Soul Connection" with Michelle Rogers, we have designed a separate blog specifically for this offering that runs through November.  The September post is now available and you can read it at www.awbasogetsu.blogspot.com.  This is a public blog and is open to anyone.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Final Story from Gilgal Farm

Another participant shares about the day's experience, 

I really enjoyed this day and it has not left me. It surprised me that I connected with a horse in such a special way.  It scared me at first, but I worked through my fear. By the end of the day, I needed no commands to get the horse to start, stop or follow me.  We just knew.  I also felt no pain until I tried to grasp the spoon (to carry the egg!).  But I definitely did not think about the constant burden of my current job and work at all during the day. I lost myself completely in something bigger than me:  God, the horse and the experience.  I have not stopped thinking about my horse since we met.  I would like to visit the farm again on my own.

This was such a wonderful day for the participants as well as for the facilitators and horse handlers.  We believe the horses had a good time as well!  

To view a Smilebox slideshow of the day's adventure, click on the Equine Event link below.  Most computers are able to download these, and it is better viewed on a desktop than on a mobile/portable device.   Currently, we use the free service for Smilebox so you may see some advertisements.  The show will begin about 20 seconds after the download is complete.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Story from Gilgal Farm ...

Saturday's equine event at Gilgal Farm was magical.  I will post pictures and a Smilebox slideshow in the near future.  For those who would like to experience the impact of equine assisted learning, The Spirituality Network is sponsoring a weekend program in October at Gilgal with the same awesome women who facilitated our event.  Visit The Divine Mirror Equine Retreat for more information.

In the meantime, I was given permission to share a photo and a story from one of our participants.

This image speaks the proverbial "thousand words" for me. I had asked my horse handler what the "divot" in Snap's side/neck was from and she explained to me that it is called "the thumbprint of God". A mark from no known source or injury and it "just is". As I braided Snap's hair I was remembering (missing) my pre-chemo hair and smiling at how I now have my granddaughter's hair to braid. I think my recent 10-year milestone of cancer recovery has me still very aware of how it could have gone and more to the point, very aware of all I have been here to see these past 10 years! I was humbled to realize that I celebrate God's "hand" in my life but am just now recognizing "it-is-what-it-is" is God's thumbprint.
Thanks for today's gifts.